Clayton Fettell and Pip Taylor after winning Evans Head Triathlon
Clayton Fettell and Pip Taylor after winning Evans Head Triathlon

Fettell flattened; Taylor forth at Noosa event

By STEVE SPINKS and AAP sport@northernstar.com.au

LENNOX HEAD triathlete Pip Taylor battled on gamely to finish fourth in the prestigious Noosa Triathlon yesterday. Taylor just missed a podium finish behind world champion Emma Snowsill, who dominated the woman's race. British triathlete Michelle Dillon finished second with another Aussie, Rina Hill, third. Hill finished 45 seconds in front of Taylor. It was a great effort from Taylor, but the the plaudits went to Snowsill as it was her third consecutive Noosa win. "Pip was relatively happy with the result considering it's her first race back from a break," coach Justin Drew said from Noosa. "The top five was pretty tight." Taylor's break coincided with the Commonwealth Games trials and she didn't compete. American Laura Bennett finished fifth and crossed the finish line with her husband Greg Bennett, who had looked a likely winner of the men's race until he damaged his groin getting on the bike. In the men's, Chris McCormack scored a shock victory just three weeks after finishing sixth in the brutal Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. McCormack, who was competing seriously over the Olympic distance (1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) for the first time in four years, clocked a winning time of 1 hour 46 minutes and 45 seconds. Little-known Victorian Leon Griffin was second and Paul Amey of Britain was third. Alstonville's Clayton Fettell had an unhappy day. After leading the field from the water, the teenager had built up a minute lead on the bike before a punctured tyre ended his race. "He was a bit shattered," Drew said. "There's no neutral spares, so you can try to fix the puncture yourself or pull out." It was a disappointing finish for Fettell, who has only just returned from Gunnedah where he claimed second in the NSW Under-23 championships and third in the Under-23 NSW Time Trial Championships. Pre-race favourite and three-time defending champion Craig Walton withdrew a couple of hours before the start with a stomach virus.

HAPPIER DAYS: Clayton Fettell and Pip Taylor after winning the Evans Head Triathlon this year. Yesterday they had mixed fortunes at the Noosa Triathlon.



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